The first-ever Meadows Music and Arts Festival held just across from Citi Field in Flushing Meadows Corona Park was a weekend-long jamboree filled with some of the hottest names in music today.
Held at four different stages all named for Queens staples like Shea Stadium, Linden and Queens boulevards and Flushing Meadows, tens of thousands flocked from all over the city and outside of the state to enjoy two days of performances from artists who could easily headline their own shows. Artists included Cage the Elephant, Zhu, Grimes, Mac Miller, Damian Marley, Pusha T, Chance the Rapper and headliner Kanye West.
The weekend didn’t go by without some controversy however. Scheduled R&B singer The Weeknd canceled his Saturday performance, which was supposed to close out the first day of the festival. The singer instead was on Saturday Night Live that night to promote his upcoming album. He was replaced by J. Cole, a South Carolina rapper who appropriately enough made a name for himself in Southeast Queens. During his performance, he recalled his days as a student attending St. John’s University and said that it was “great to be back home.” Unfortunately for fans, J. Cole announced that his “magical” performance at the Meadows Festival would be his last for the forseeable future.
The final performance of the weekend, Kanye West, had a bit of controversy as well. The Grammy-award winning artist inexplicably cut his performance 20-minutes early citing a “family emergency.” It was later revealed that West’s wife Kim Kardashian was held up at gunpoint in Paris and robbed of nearly $10 million in personal property.
Although cell reception was hard to come by, patrons had a great time and the weekend seemed to be an overall success. When the Queens Tribune asked show co-founders Entertainment Tom Russell and Jordan Wolowitz whether or not they see the show returning next year, they said “absolutely.”
“We want The Meadows to be an annual institution that both features amazing talent across all spectrums, music, food, art,” Russell said.
“[We want to] showcase the incredibly rich culture of Queens. We want this event to mark the beginning of fall, just like our other event Governor’s Ball marks the beginning of summer.”